Little Gardens

Alongside our little row of flats
runs our smooth concrete driveway
widely absorbing sunny heat, opening
us up to the blue sky, leading along
the neighbours’ fence, round to our
carports, on to a narrow path
passing our back doors, our clotheslines.

Under each flat’s front windows sits
a little garden with multi sized
shaped and coloured shrubs softening
doors, windows, brick walls, concrete.

River stones and pebble mulch lie
under the plants in the other gardens
keeping them tidy for tenants
without tools or gardening skills.

My garden’s soil is open to the
sky, breathing freely amidst
brick, stone, and concrete.

I interact with this soil feeding
it compost as it drinks in air and rain.
In return the soil shares its bounty
with all comers, windblown seeds as
well as my chosen plants and flowers.

Removing these uninvited scrambling
sprawling invaders I stand my ground.
……………… More writing time goes by.

Little Gardens


Every night Mum or Dad reads
to two little girls before lights out.
Grown up visitors used to be
pestered to read aloud also.

Older sister started school, brought
home little books, read to Mum
every night, Dad too. She wrote stories,
letters to fairies and grandparents.
Mum helped with the spelling.

Younger sister turned five, started
school. She could write her name
on cards to grandparents, aunts, uncles.
Yet there were many squiggles called
letters, in books, on the whiteboard.
She was told to write them herself.

She had to read to her teacher each
day, to Mum after school, all those
squiggles, she much preferred pictures.
She remembered a book’s words, but
when reading to Mum she stared out
the window reciting the words,
vaguely waving her finger over them.

Meanwhile big sister’s books were
longer and harder, she read them easily.

After some months of puzzlement
the five year old read a new book
fluently to her teacher one day. How
did she do it ? She didn’t know.
But she had finally cracked the mystery.